UPDATE: Click here to see Rep. Petri share his concerns about the proposed closing following the public hearing on Nov. 23.
With the U.S. Postal Service considering closing the Oshkosh Processing and Distribution Center and consolidating the work in Green Bay, Rep. Tom Petri has sent a strongly-worded letter to Post Office Inspector General David Williams calling for an audit. Petri wrote that the process used to potentially bring about the move has raised numerous questions.
"I believe USPS has developed a business case for closing the Oshkosh facility without fully analyzing all of the purported savings and costs associated with moving the mail processing operations currently performed at the Oshkosh Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) to the Green Bay P&DC," he wrote. "Regarding the proposed savings of $4.6 million, I would like assurance that USPS has taken into consideration all the one-time costs associated with this potential consolidation, such as the costs of relocating and retraining staff, moving mail processing equipment, and redesigning the facility to accommodate the new equipment, increased truck traffic and increased mail volume."
Petri brought up questions about the lack of Postal Service space in Green Bay if processing is consolidated there, and about the cost of carrying vacant space in Oshkosh for an undetermined time due to the state of the current commercial real estate market.
Petri wrote that he is "concerned about the lack of information provided to my office, postal employees, and the local community. We have been asked to comment on the study, but have been given no information on what data or assumptions were used to reach the estimate of $4.6 million in savings."
"Also, we have not received an adequate response as to why an 11-month study of the Green Bay facility was abruptly halted earlier this year only to have the USPS launch the Oshkosh AMP which was completed in a few months," he wrote. "In September, I requested information on the Green Bay study and was told by letter dated November 19, 2010, that such information would not be released because the study was never completed. However, the City of Oshkosh, the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce, and WBAY TV in Green Bay have filed a Freedom of Information Act request and it is my understanding that they will receive the information (with some redactions) in early December."
"Additionally, an earlier Oshkosh AMP from 2007, which also was never finalized, was released to the American Postal Workers Union. At the very least, the Postal Service's policy on releasing AMP information to Congress, employees and the impacted public is confusing and appears to be applied inconsistently," he wrote.